“Mary was more important than the apostles, bishops, and so women in the Church are also more important than bishops and priests. ... There is a great need for more theology to better explore the role of women in the Church.”
Stop the presses. Hold your horses and shut the front door! Are you kidding me? The leader of the Catholic Church says that women in the Church are more important than bishops and priests? And wait, there is more. He also says we need to better understand the role of women in the Church. Wait a minute? How’s that again? Isn’t this the same “Church” that is so often accused of being oppressive and misogynistic when it comes to females? Is Pope Francis for real?
Pope Francis is for real, and it isn’t the first time since he began his pontificate in March that he has stressed his concerns for women, along with his hopes for them to be more involved in the Church.
But you wouldn’t know any of this unless you read this newspaper or watch and listen to other Catholic media. Nope. For radical feminists and those out there in the world of political punditry and media commentary who love to pick on all things Catholic, these very sincere remarks barely showed up as a tiny blip on their radar screens.
Unless you have been sequestered with no media access the last few weeks, you’re probably well aware of what did garner all the media’s attention. So, I will spare you another long commentary on how the media totally missed the mark on Pope Francis reiterating longtime Church teaching regarding the treatment of our brothers and sisters with same-sex attraction.
But quite frankly, the media’s treatment of the women’s issues discussed by the pope during his in-flight question-and-answer session with journalists follows the same irresponsible and sensational media pattern; let’s cover what fits our agenda and toss everything else.
Now in a perfect world one might think that given the very positive comments about women that feminists, and the long list of talking heads who regularly criticize the Church, would be applauding Pope Francis and maybe even taking it upon themselves to go even just a bit deeper and for once in their lives maybe examine the Church’s teachings on women. Of course, one would have to be applying reason and common sense, and we all know when it comes to the current media climate, common sense hasn’t been common for a very long time. Not to mention the fact that you don’t need me to tell you that the world we live in is far from perfect.
So, what exactly was it that caused the media to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear yet again to an important story and one about which they claim to be so concerned? Well, the pope in the press conference reaffirmed the Church teaching on the male priesthood, making it clear that “the door was closed.”
For radical feminists and their counterparts and mouthpieces, those words simply do not compute. They thought the Church was softening its stance on homosexual activity, so they ran with it believing and hoping they had some sort of breaking news and that the Church had finally come to its senses.
But because the pope did not say what they wanted to hear on women’s ordination, his statements simply did not matter. They treat the Church like General Motors or Wall Street. Equality to them must be defined as sameness in every way, shape and form.
A greater role for women in the Church? The answer is yes, according to the pope. According to the media, thanks but no thanks.
Teresa Tomeo is the host of “Catholic Connection,” produced by Ave Maria Radio and heard daily on EWTN Global Catholic Radio and Sirius Channel 130.